Need recommendation on used PC :: $250-$350 range

Hello,

I was looking for some opinions and advice on buying a new or used PC. I have $250-$350 to spend.

Basically, like everyone else, I am looking for the most bang (speed, memory, upgradablity, etc) for my buck.

New or used is OK.

I do a lot of video work, and I am currently using a Dell e521 w/ 3GB Ram and a Dual Core AMD.. It's pretty quick, but I want MORE!

Any advice is welcome. Thanks.
w3developingAsked:
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jamietonerCommented:
For $250-350 I doubt you'll get anything noticeably faster than what you have.
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w3developingAuthor Commented:
I was thinking the same thing. I picked up this sys for a st-deal at 200.00.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
The FASTEST Athlon 64x2 dual core (6400+) scores 1606 on PassMark's CPUMark (an excellent measure of CPU "horsepower"), and they go down to 947 (3600+).

The SLOWEST Core 2 Quad (Q6600) scores 2890 ... and these range up to 4452 (Q9650).

The SLOWEST Core i7 (920) scores 5446 ... and these range up to 7012 (975).

Clearly you can't buy (or even build) a Core 2 Quad or Core i7 system for $250 - $350 => but the lesson should be clear:   If you are buying the cheapest system you can, get AMD;  if you want performance, get Intel.    Remember that when you buy your next system :-)

Note:  The E521 appears to use a BTX motherboard, so you can't simply swap in a new micro-ATX board.   But if you have a case you could move your components to that WOULD let you do that, a new motherboard/CPU combo that uses DDR2 (so you could reuse your memory) COULD be put together for < $350 with a Core 2 Quad.

This motherboard:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128380
with this CPU:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115041

Total:  $299.98   PassMark: 4163  (3 to 4 times your current CPU performance, depending on which model you have)     .... you could chop $60 off that (and reduce your PassMark score to 3185) with this CPU:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115055

But this is JUST the motherboard/CPU -- you still need all the rest of the system components ... case, power supply, memory, video card, hard drive(s), optical drive(s), etc.
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